Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bucky gets Bucked

Finally we have another bloated filled with more filler than a Twinkie hour-long results episode of American Idol. Really you have to wonder why they don’t stretch this out for an hour every week. If they did we would watch; wanna bet it gets higher ratings than an episode of “The Loop.” Ryan is wearing yet another dark suit; I think he gave up all his metrosexual clothing from the first couple seasons. Ryan introduces the three in house drama queens; this show has more puns than any show on television. Randy seems to have raided Ryan’s closest again tonight. He is wearing a pinkish shirt contraption; last week he wore the valentine red vest. Even though Simon wears the same style shirt ever week, he is surprisingly the best-dressed judge. Paula in typical maybe drunk maybe not mode starts giggling when Simon tickles her under the table. I wish Simon sat next to Randy, then we could have the awkward moment when Simon tickles Randy under the table. Paula in her imminent wisdom says she didn’t know how hard Queen songs are to sing. Helen Keller knows how talented Freddie Mercury was and how difficult his songs are to replicate, and she is deaf, blind, and dead. Ryan asks Randy what the females need to do to keep themselves safe from elimination. Before Randy answers Simon says sarcastically, “sing really well every time.” Since this is what Randy gives as advice whenever asked for guidance, it’s safe to say Simon is making fun of Randy. However, Randy ain’t too bright, so he says Simon just made a joke, but he’s right, you need to sing really really well every time. I don’t know what is more humorous, Simon’s joke or Randy’s ignorance of the joke. Ryan quickly shifts his discourse to Simon and calls him the most miserable millionaire he’s ever met. I guess Ryan has never met Jennifer Anniston, since we are supposed to believe all she does is cry herself to sleep every night since Brad left her. Actually, I’m not gay, but I’d probably cry if Brad Pitt left me too, he is just so dreamy. Simon says he is so difficult on the contestants because America likes honesty (except from their Presidents) and he refuses to be insincere like Ryan. I notice two things during the recap of last night: the crowd is emotionless during Chris’s supposedly rocking performance; and Paris sounded much worse than I thought. Ryan is in rare pun form when he says, “with all 8 under pressure, did you find someone to love America?”

Sweetness, its time for another group number; this is our first preview of the set list for the upcoming tour. So what does Idol do for this long awaited group number? They split the screen into two boxes, one really big and one really small. In one of the boxes they show the contestants singing and dance. In the other it’s highlights from this season. You would think that the performance would be in the larger box right? Wrong! I could understand putting them in such a small box if all the contestants were ugly, but we have Ace to look at, so make the picture bigger. The first song the group sings is “It’s a Kind of Magic” then they transition into “Killer Queen” where Ace gets a little solo. Next it’s “Under Pressure” featuring Chris. I thought Chris might do this song last night, and boy do I wish he did, I think it would have gone over better with the judges. But this song is famous for the David Bowie/Freddie Mercury pairing, so which contestant will join Chris on the song; its Bucky! Comparing Bucky/Chris to Bowie/Mercury is like…well comparing Queen with Freddie Mercury to Queen with their new guy. Kat and Kellie (our favorite best friends) are featured on “Don’t Stop Me Now.” The contestants disperse into the audience singing “Another One Bites the Dust” or as I like to call it, the Bucky anthem. They assemble back on stage so Elliot can sing, “You’re My Best Friend.” Just like Chris, Elliot sounds better on this song than he did the night before. Couldn’t the people who set up the group number help the contestants find better songs to sing? Do they purposes let them pick really bad song choices because they know that makes for better television? Then the contestants answer the age old question ‘who is the champion’ when they sing “We Are the Champions.” Since Taylor almost sung this last night it is his baby. He steps in front of his peers and belts out the song, then fades back into the group only to emerge once again to finish the number strong. Taylor’s voice is so distinctive you can hear him above the other contestants. Hey look its Will from the top 24. Do you think he had to stand outside and wait for tickets, or did the producers hook him up for being so darn cute? At the end of the group medley everyone is supposed to hold the pose until the show cuts to commercial. This is standard idol fare; you don’t break the pose until you get the all clear. In fact, only one person has trouble with this rule. Yup you guessed it – Bucky! As soon as he finishes the last note he takes his hand down from the pose, realizes he messed up, puts the hand back up in the air, then for some reason takes his hand down again and starts to clap. He does all this while EVERY OTHER person has their arms fully extended over their heads with their finger pointed towards the sky.

It is time to watch another Ford commercial; this week’s music is “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” We see Taylor, Kat, Kellie, and Elliot dressed in the brightest golf attire this side of a drag queen review. Ironically, this is the best Kat has looked the entire season. Bucky, Chris, Paris, and Ace are equally bright and walk towards the other group. This looks like some kinda West Side Story dance fight about to happen. Except instead of knives they settle their dispute on a miniature golf course. Wouldn’t that be a great way to prevent wars? Have the leaders from the two countries play a round of winner takes all miniature golf. I mean come on; does anyone think Saddam could have beat W. on the Windmill hole? W. might not be too good with the whole speaking English thing or asking questions from his subordinates, but the dude knows his miniature golf. The contestants appear to be playing for a Ford Escape. I wonder how many of them have actually golfed before. For sure Paris has not; she is holding the club like it’s a dead fish. Chris works in an auto repair shop, which is not normally a profession associated with golfing. Kellie seems like more of an indoor girl. Ace is too busy climbing mountains, Elliot spends all his time listening to Stevie Wonder CDs in his bedroom, and Bucky is, well, he is Bucky. That leaves Kat and Taylor. Kat is all sophisticated so she has probably played a round or two, and Taylor is in the weather friendly south with a dentist as a dad; he has golfed before. Wait, the two groups aren’t squaring off against each other, instead, the first group is actually the caddies for the second group. Ace, Paris, Chris, and Bucky all take a shot at the green. All four balls end up within inches of the hole. Until that is, Kat blows Bucky’s ball into the hole (I really never thought I’d have a sentence in my idol recap about Kat blowing any of Bucky’s balls). Bucky immediately gives Kat a high five and then runs over to the Escape he just won. Is this more foreshadowing? A couple weeks ago Lisa went off screen on an ice cream cart only to be voted off that week, and Mandisa, last week’s reject, got 2 seconds of screen time in the commercial. Angered at his Bonds style cheating, Ace, Paris, and Chris do their best to hit Bucky with their golf balls, but Bucky uses his nimble southern dance moves to avoid the incoming missiles. Judging by the reaction of the contestants when we return to the live show, they had a lot of fun making this commercial. Ace confesses to Ryan he has never worn pink before, and Ryan says he has done it a bunch of times. I wonder if the new ‘I’m a serious host Ryan’ will ever wear pink again.

Ryan asks Taylor if he is homesick, which is not the same thing as sick of home, and Taylor says he misses southern cooking, specifically turnip greens. Kellie says she misses Oprah. Why does she miss Oprah? Does she not have a television at the Idol mansion? Oh wait a minute, she said okra! Okra and turnip greens, two things I wouldn’t even eat on Fear Factor. Paris says she misses fried chicken, no stereotype there right? I’m guessing Fuzzy Zeller is watching this somewhere screaming, “ See I told you that’s all they eat!” Elliot says he misses his friends and family and playing basketball. Strangely, the crowd collectively ‘awwws’ at the mention of basketball but showed no emotion when he said friends and family; does anyone else find that odd. Is this audience comprised of high school basketball coaches or something? Ace misses his brushes and hair care products and playing ‘who is hotter’ with his brothers. Bucky, WHO HAS A WIFE, says the thing he misses most is his dog. I am hoping this is because Bucky’s wife is out in lala land with him and not because they have some odd dog centered relationship. Kat misses her dog Lilly. Shouldn’t she be missing the person she was thinking about when she sang the song from the Manilow week, you know the one she said was her inspiration to sing all sexy. Chris, perhaps a bit smarter than Bucky correctly answers “my wife and kids.” After playing ‘what do you miss the most’ with the contestants Ryan starts playing clips from back home.

First up is Kat. Her mom and dad say they both have McPhever, which is McCreepy. Ace’s mom is wearing a shirt with Ace’s picture ironed on the front; it looks like something she had made at the local mall. In the picture Ace is wearing a beanie, remember he loves those, but hasn’t worn one in weeks. Was his beautiful hair too important to keep locked under a beanie? Elliot’s mom is next; she is both the sweetest and most boring of the parents. Taylor’s mom says the entire state of Alabama is rooting for him, and all 3000 residents that own phones in that state are calling for Taylor. Paris’s mom is Fantasia, what the heck? No wait, that’s not Fantasia, just a really young kid that must have had Paris when she was about 12. Bucky’s mom tells Bucky to “go get em.” Chris’s parents say the same thing, except in reverse order. His dad says, “ we love you and are voting for you” then his mom says “we are voting for you, and we love you.” Kellie’s grandfather is sitting on a swing with her little brother, and her little brother declares his love for Kellie. What no video footage from the prison cell of her dad? I’d love hearing his large black cellmate say how much he loves watching Kellie every Tuesday night.

Elliot is an emotional wreck after seeing all the videos. He wasn’t crying because he saw his mom in his video package, no, he was crying because he wishes he was one of Ace’s brothers. This whole thing feels like the annual Survivor episode where they show the castaways clips from back home and turn them into emotional basket cases. Ryan teases the music for next week; it’s going to be the music of Kenny G! Ok, it’s really going to be America standards from the recent Rod Stewart collection. As Ryan goes through the contestants picking out the bottom three we get more videos from back home! Taylor is first to hear the news, but first there is a video with two of his band mates. They say that Taylor is the driving force for their band and they love him like family. We meet Taylor’s fish, Lamont and Ray and also learn that they think Taylor is super smart. Is Taylor really that smart, or are they just that dumb? Judging from the video I’m guessing it’s a little of both. Taylor says he had fun missing the mic stand, and he’ll have fun missing back home for another week since he is safe! Next up is a video of Kat’s parents and her crying father; he cries whenever he hears her sing. Maybe he is tearing up because his daughter is over 20 years old and still can’t dress herself, speaking of that, they show a clip of Kat when she was a little kid; sadly, she was more fashionable in her prepubescent days. Seeing your father cry will make anyone tear up, especially Kat. Ryan gives her a handkerchief and she regains her composure. She is safe too! Kellie is so happy to hear the news she pushes Chris out of the way so she can hug her girl Kat. Chris’s brother starts off his video and says that they always knew Chris wouldn’t work in the town lumber mill per the family norm; no Chris had bigger things planned. By bigger things Chris’s brother meant working as a service manager at a car place I guess, since this Idol thing only came about in the last few months. His dad says he always wanted to do the music thing and his mom says he is a good role model for young people. I guess this means she wants young men to wear eyeliner and stare unblinkingly into the camera with enough ferocity to frighten a wolverine. Chris is a man so he stops himself from crying and listens to Ryan read back the judges comments from the night before. When Ryan reads back the Paula comment declaring Chris better than Queen you can see Chris raise his eyebrows in the universal ‘what are you talking about’ expression. Ryan doesn’t even try to create suspense and tells Chris he is safe. Kellie doesn’t hug him though; only her roommate gets that kinda persona attention. Gee do you get the feeling the entire back row might be safe this week?

Kellie, now holding the community snot rag, is next. We check in with her grandfather and her little brother back in whatever southern town she lives. Apparently they both walk around town wearing Kellie Pickler shirts. I’d love to see them spend day walking around Harlem with those shirts just to see what happens. Kellie is wearing her waterproof mascara again so her tears of joy don’t ruin her makeup. She is wearing less makeup than last night, when Simon said she looked like something form “The Night of the Living Dead.” She actually growls when Ryan reads the quote to her, but she has nothing else to growl about tonight because Ryan tells her she is safe. There is a collective ‘uh oh’ from the bottom row since all but one of them are going to be in trouble! Kellie doesn’t need Ryan’s handkerchief (snot rag) anymore so she walks over to Ryan’s podium and leaves it on the results card. Ryan steps back and exclaims, “America we have a problem.” He is not sure how to get past the snot rag and read the results. He quickly throws it onto Elliot’s lap and says, “Here you go Elliot.” Ryan’s improvisational skills are what set him apart from all the other reality show hosts. Like him or hate him, he really is good at what he does.

Elliot, the only guy who cries more than the girls is next. His mom tells us all the difficulties Elliot went through as a child; he is allergic to everything. Everything except a great singing voice baby! She says they discovered his diabetes when he decided he wanted to chill out at home instead of hanging out with his friends. His mom was shocked he didn’t want to “listen to fireworks.” Huh? Is he blind? Did Elliot and his friends really go out and listen to fireworks, or did his mom accidentally say listen instead of watch. Other things Elliot likes to listen to: dancing, paintings, and mimes. The puns continue as his mom says “he was a sick little puppy” right when they show a picture of Elliot playing with a dog. Sadly, Elliot is now an endangered little puppy once Ryan tells him he is in the bottom three. Randy says Elliot should not be in the bottom three, only a confused America could produce such a result because “this boy can sing dude.” That’s odd, normally they don’t talk to the judges until all three bottom dwellers are named, that means Ryan has something tricky planned. Suddenly, he turns to Elliot and asks him if he is ready to sing. Elliot says, “really?” Ryan says, “that’s what we do on American Idol, uncomfortable moments, we make them sing.” Elliot has no idea what’s going on; this must be what W. feels like during a cabinet meeting. Paula fills the role of Dick Cheney and barks out orders screaming “sing, sing, sing, sing” from the judge’s table. Ryan tells Elliot to follow the band as he hands him a mic, and Elliot quizzically looks around in pure befuddlement. He is not the only one not sure what to do, as the mic is barely turned on when he starts to sing. After about 5 seconds, someone in the control booth realizes this and cranks up the volume. If they had this technology why didn’t they use it on Kevin when he was still on the show. If we weren’t able to hear him he might have stayed around a few more weeks. To Elliot’s credit, after a shaky start he gets into the song and sounds as good as he did the night before. Even though he is no Freddie, he does sound good on this simplified version of a classic song. Did anyone notice when he waves his hand over his head near the end of the song the ONLY person in the audience who does it with him is Paula? When Elliot is done singing Ryan asks the audience if Elliot deserves to leave the competition; the answer is a resounding “NO!” Notice this is the first time Ryan asked the audience this question. If he did it week one with say Melissa I’m guessing her family and friends would have screamed no with about 500 other people not so sure what to say.

Ace is the next candidate for the bottom three. Ryan asks him if he is comfortable and Ace in a humble moment says he has too much experience on Wednesdays to be comfortable. For his video we go back to the Rockies and learn Ace’s passions are backpacking and skiing. Interesting, two of Ace’s brothers are not nearly as hot as Ace and his other brother, the one who sits in the audience every week. One of Ace’s brothers looks like he is a little insane. Maybe he has the McPhever. Seeing his family back home turns Ace, the man with arms of justice, into an Elliot cloned cryer. When Ryan reads back the harsh criticisms from the judges Ace says “thanks guys.” He is really acting like he thinks he will be leaving this week. He has good instincts; he is in the bottom three. Paula says watching his performance back on television was a different experience, devoid of the warmth and applause in the live studio audience. She continues, “everyone had faults in their performances, but I don’t think you are in big trouble.” Umm did anyone tell Paula this is Ace’s third trip into the bottom three? He is in a whole lotta trouble! Simon says he still didn’t like the performance and Randy says he shouldn’t leave just yet – translation: he isn’t as bad as Bucky so he won’t go until next week. It’s Ace’s turn to sing now, which is difficult for him because he was caught off guard by the video. Dude you had 5 people see videos before they got to yours, you knew it was coming, suck it up and sing pretty boy. His urbanized version of “We Will Rock You” is still a little lame, but he does get a standing ovation from Paula. Only two people left on the couch now; Bucky and Paris. Bucky has an entire town supporting him and they are all very proud of him, none of them can tell what he is saying or singing, but they are proud of him nonetheless. Paris used to wanna be an OBGYN, I did too until I figured out even girls that are unattractive need medical attention. Would it be wrong as an OBGYN to charge less for hot girls? Does that violate medical ethics? If Paris didn’t make it to Hollywood after her Idol audition she was going to give up music, so I’m glad they gave her the yellow piece of paper. Paris is crying her eyes out when the videos are over and Bucky is saying something to comfort her, if you look closely I think he says, “Don’t worry I really have no talent to speak of and I am still on the show not as a reward for my excellence, but for a misguided love of country music by large parts of the American public.” Bucky is a smart man, since he is also in the bottom three. Bucky’s wife looks really sad in the audience, I don’t know if its because her husband is about to return to the auto detail shop back home, or because he misses their dog more than he misses her; both of them would be enough to depress most wives.

Bucky sings again; he is such a nice guy, just not in the same talent zip code as the remaining contestants, although Ace is in the adjoining town. Bucky is so hard to understand sometimes we could have used him and Rocky to send messages during World War II. American military commanders were terrified of the Japanese breaking our code like we broke theirs, so they used Native Americans to communicate the most sensitive messages. Native American dialect lacks rhyme or reason, which makes it almost impossible for an outsider, even a code breaking expert, to understand its meaning. If we had the Covington twins at our disposal back then we could have put Rocky on one end and Bucky on the other and had them talk to each other about upcoming missions. The Japanese never would have been able to figure out what the heck they were saying.
Elliot, Ace, and Bucky all hug each other once they stand side by side at the center of the stage. Ryan asks Simon who he thinks will be safe, and Simon says based on last night’s song performance, Ace is gone. The tension simmers until Ryan finally reveals what most of us expected, Bucky is going home! The three men all hug each other again; they look like they really are pretty good friends. Ryan says we all hate this moment and then shows Bucky his “Bad Day” soundtracked video. We get another split screen, this time of Bucky’s highlights and a close up of Bucky’s face. Remember his inability to hold the pose form earlier tonight, well he has another problem, looking into the camera. He shifts his head to the side and we lose his face, and instead get nothing but his hair filling the smaller of the split screens. The director of the show sees this, and immediately closes out the little Bucky box in the left corner. Ryan must tell Bucky to stop moving around, because after a few seconds the Bucky box is back and he looks into the camera while we watch his Idol journey. I don’t think Bucky is that good, and I should be happy to see him leave the show like I was with Kevin, but he is so gosh darn likeable I really feel bad…ok I’m over it now. I’m not sure what to think about next week’s show yet; I’ll probably figure that out Tuesday night around 7:59 ET.


Post a Comment

<< Home